Teachers of the Tsledom Municipal Assembly (MA) Basic School in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality of the Eastern Region are confronted with serious accommodation challenges, which have become a source of worry to them and authorities of the school.
The situation has compelled the teachers to turn one of the rooms reserved for library materials into a permanent sleeping place and kitchen, as well as put up in a dilapidated mud house.
The structure suffers multiple structural defects, including gaping holes in the roof, several cracks in the walls and floors which pave way for invasion by various creatures, including snakes, scorpions, lizards, and other insects.
The accommodation does not come with toilet or bath facilities, forcing the 16 teachers to improvise with palm fronds and divided into toilet and bath.
The rooms are ‘furnished’ with bed-like structures crafted from bamboo, old desks and chairs.
The teachers, who are compelled to endure this situation, share the structure with reptiles, rodents and other insects, which occasionally find their way into their rooms which are located a few metres away from the school, in a farming community deprived of several amenities.
Speaking to the Eastern File, the Assistant Headteacher, Felix Asemnor, said: “For teachers who live on campus, they encounter insects and serpents.”
The situation, according to the school head, endangers the lives of the teachers who risk being bitten by the snakes, scorpions and other dangerous creatures, which is serving as a big disincentive for newly-posted tutors, as most of them find the situation unbearable.
The unbearable situation has compelled both male and female teachers to abandon the structure and pitch camp at the school’s library, as several promises by the Municipal Assembly and other stakeholders to provide decent and befitting accommodation facility for the teachers has not materialised.
“Teachers find it difficult to stay when they are posted here, because the structure allotted to them is not in good shape, and so they have to move to and fro each day from home to work and back,” Mr. Amanor said, adding that “the situation invariably delays teachers’ arrival at the school.”
The situation is usually worsened by transportation challenges, as the road leading to the Tsledom community is unmotorable for most small vehicles especially, forcing non-resident teachers to alight at a distance before embarking on the rest of the journey on foot. For instance, it took this journalist almost one hour to walk from this point to the school.
The Headteacher regretted that persistent reminders to the Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Assembly and the various stakeholders for the necessary assistance have become a ritual without the necessary redress.
The teachers also regretted that despite suggestions from them that the old, abandoned classroom block be converted into a convenient place of accommodation for the teachers, nothing has been done about the situation.
They are, therefore, pleading with the government and philanthropists to come to their aid, since several promises by the Municipal Assembly and the Member of Parliament to support this cause continue to remain a mirage.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Director of Education at Lower Manya Krobo in charge of Finance and Administration, Mrs. Agnes Akweley Attipoe, when contacted on the development, averred that the Ghana Education Service was duly aware of the problem, and the due report on the situation sent to the Municipal Assembly for the necessary assistance.
“We know [of the accommodation challenges] and have appealed to the Municipal Assembly to put up a two-room apartment for them, so for now, they are sharing the library, and even prepare their meals there,” Mrs. Attipoe said.
“We went there and we saw everything. We have been going there, that is not the first time. As for mosquito nets, we ensure that they have them regularly.”
Aside these steps, she also launched an appeal to various stakeholders and philanthropists to come to the aid of the school.
Meanwhile, the absence of electricity comes as another major challenge for the school.
The situation, which is affecting the teaching and learning of ICT in the school, has compelled the teachers to resort to the use of their personal laptops during Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) lessons.
The Primary School department was established in 1974, and the Junior High School (JHS) in 1987.
The school, which has a total of 230 pupils from kindergarten to JHS, enrolls pupils from Tsledom and nearby communities, including Gbortsonya, Okortor, Takunya, Yokunya and Tortibo.